Hollywood Legend Lauren Bacall Dies at 89

Her résumé read “actress,” but Lauren Bacall was first and foremost a Hollywood movie star. Arriving in L.A. with her mother in 1942 and before speaking a line on film, the young New York model perfected the smoky, sexy voice that would become her trademark. On her own, Bacall, who died Aug. 12, figured out how to plant her chin against her long neck, look upward into the camera with those heavy-lidded eyes, and give what became known simply as “The Look.” …

Robin Williams: Our Funny, Troubled Cousin

The report that Robin Williams had died on Aug. 11 of an apparent suicide by asphyxiation came like that dreaded phone call, the bad news regarding a friend or relative about whom you’ve long feared the worst. >> Robin Williams’ 10 Unforgettable Roles If celebrities have become something of an extended family to us, Robin was the cousin we instinctively worried about. We knew of his cocaine addiction in the 1980s; about his hospitalization for alcoholism in 2006. And although we never heard much …

Weekend Preview: Helen Mirren, Twisters and Ninja Turtles

Thank goodness for Helen Mirren; without her there’d be almost nothing new for grown-up movie lovers to see this weekend. Besides Dame Helen’s latest offering (The Hundred-Foot Journey), this looks like a good time to catch up on summer’s best offerings, including Get on Up, Calvary and Boyhood.   The Hundred-Foot Journey Helen Mirren is a snooty French chef; veteran Indian star Om Puri (East Is East) is the immigrant who opens an authentic Mumbai-style restaurant, replete with secret spices …

‘The Honorable Woman’ Creator Fan of Great 70′s Spy Thrillers

A first-class, cerebral mystery/espionage thriller set amidst the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, British auteur Hugo Blick’s “The Honorable Woman” has become one of the most talked-about television dramas of the summer. Its title star, Maggie Gyllenhaal, has said she is more proud of the eight-part mini series than anything else she’s done in her career. Its supporting cast, including Stephen Rea and Janet McTeer as British agents, is absolutely brilliant. And of course, it could not be more timely. Blick noted that …

5 Smart (and Womanly) Buys for Fall

Am I the only one who witnessed Sharon Stone coming out this spring? Not sexually, mind you, but chronologically. Stone has been something of a refusenik when it comes to aging, so I smiled to myself when she told Shape magazine, “I’m not trying to make myself look like a girl because I’m not a girl anymore.” And I positively cheered when Stone went on to report that she’s “very happy” about being a grown woman: “I think there’s a …

What to See This Weekend: Guardians Rule, Funk King Boogies

The best movie weekend of the summer is upon us! So buy yourself a day pass to the multiplex and relish the rousing biography of a music legend, a new sci-fi classic and an intimately focused drama with a devastating punch.   Get on Up Chadwick Boseman (Jackie Robinson in 42) makes playing The Hardest-Working Man in Show Business seem easy in this spectacular, funk-driven biography of James Brown. The soundtrack is the genuine Brown, but Boseman nails his Mashed …